Diets – Are They All About Losing Weight?

With 66% of the USpopulation being overweight or obese, many of us would benefit from losing a few pounds.  But how do we choose which diet to go on? Should we try (again) Atkins,SouthBeach, Hallelujah, Dukan, Zone, Eat 4 Blood Type, Paleo, or the Chocolate diet?  Some are high carb, some low carb, some are high protein, some are lower protein, and some are raw foods. Confused? What works? We have failed at dieting because dieting has failed us.

 “Perhaps the biggest misconception is that as long as you lose weight, it doesn’t matter what you eat” reported Dr. Dean Ornish, founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute and the Ornish disease reversal program in a recent New York Times article.   

Diets may result in temporary weight loss, but they can also be detrimental to our overall health. Some will compromise our immune system, others are taxing on our kidney function.

Being thin and being healthy is not the same thing. Many popular diets don’t reduce our cravings for sweets or fatty foods. At a recent conference I attended, one booth had handouts of recipes for desserts in their diet program that included low fat cream cheese, sugar, ground cookies, and whipped cream. This sounded too good to be true, and it is. The ingredients in these foods are full of chemicals and do not support a healthy lifestyle. Whether thin or fat, what we eat can influence what diseases we develop.

Here is a way to win the battle. Give up on the newest diet sensation that may provide short term weight loss and possible long term detriment to health.  Instead, increase intake of  whole grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables to help with weight loss. These are low calorie, high fiber foods that are loaded with phytonutrients our body needs for optimal health. An added bonus is these foods reduce damaging inflammation and are powerful in turning on genes that are protective against diseases including some cancers, diabetes, and heart disease. Let diets die, and choose whole foods that promote good health and help us maintain a healthy weight.